The ‘nesting’ divorce trend has recently resurged in popularity. Also sometimes referred to as ‘bird nesting’, this method after divorce or separation enables the child(ren) to remain living in the family home with each parent alternating staying in the property for their agreed part of the co-parenting schedule.
Is bird nesting the best option for children?
Consistency for the child is a key driver for this option. Traditionally shared care of children would mean that they are the ones to pack their bags and move between their parents’ homes at the frequency that the co-parenting schedule dictates – sometimes more than once a week.
The feedback from families that have used this method is mixed. Some say it was positive for the children as the home was a constant for them, however it cannot be ignored that such an arrangement could prove confusing, particularly if it continues into the longer term. The process of children dealing with the breakdown of their parents’ relationship can be hindered by the potential question mark in their mind as to whether their parents might actually be using this method as they are trying to work things out.
Is birdnesting the best option for parents?
One key thing to consider is the cost as in many cases the family home is the main asset. It is often impossible for both parents to adequately rehome without the family home being sold. The costs of continuing to pay for the family home, plus each parents’ alternative accommodation when they are not staying there can soon stack up. Whilst not impossible financially, it does need to be considered carefully before committing to this model.
As well as cost, the logistics can be a strain. What we have discussed above as a benefit for the children is the fact that the burden of moving home is taken on by the parents, but this can take its toll on them. Regularly packing bags and moving between the family home and your new home can take its toll.
Of course, there is also the potential that once divorced you may have a new partner and children with them. This means you would routinely be either leaving your new family unit for multiple days to be at the family home or you would be asking them to pack up and come with you. The latter option opens up potential strain on your new family unit, the very thing you were hoping to avoid for the children of your divorced marriage.
Overall, this method of child arrangement post-separation has mixed feedback on whether it is the best option for families. The intention of it is sound, but the way it is approached needs to be carefully considered before committing.